Unpopular opinion: Trading Odell Beckham makes sense for Dave Gettleman (Giants GM)

Posted: March 17, 2019 in Football, New entries, NFL

Here’s what we know:

  • The Giants are clearly still a bad team even with Odell Beckham on the roster.
  • Championship teams don’t use superstar wide receivers to win (Patriots, Eagles, Seahawks, Broncos)
  • Odell Beckham’s blue-chip talent is being wasted away on an offense that uses the short-middle passing game, which he himself acknowledged during the 2018 season
  • The Giants need to find an elite QB in order to become relevant again. Elite QBs don’t need elite wide receivers to thrive. Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Baker Mayfield, Phillip Rivers, Andrew Luck all performed consistently without stud wide receivers.

The Giants would not have gotten the value that a first, a third and safety Jabrill Peppers will give them if Beckham remained on the roster. Odell would have been an elite receiver stuck on a team that is either bad or otherwise doesn’t properly utilize him, like Larry Fitzgerald with the Cardinals. With two first round picks, the Giants can try to trade up for Kyler Murray if they feel the need, or more likely will try to trade back and set themselves up for a juicy 2020 QB draft class with Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa and Georgia QB Jake Fromm becoming draft eligible.

Counter argument: “Dave, the Giants should restructure their offense to take advantage of what Beckham does well, not trade him.”

That’s certainly a move teams have made in the past. If the player is talented enough, the coach might says: “Let’s change up our scheme to maximize what we can get out of this player.”  Former Denver OC Mike McCoy famously did this with the Broncos during the Tim Tebow glory days. (Though that move more revolved around having Tebow do less of what he was bad at than doing more of what he’s great at.) This might actually work if the Giants were rolling with Dwayne Haskins or Josh Rosen at QB. At thirty-eight years old, Eli Manning is not likely to be the best fit for a downfield passing attack. You could then point the finger at the Giants’ front office for not having an appropriate successor to the QB crown (which I agree is a fair criticism). Dak Prescott fell to round three and became the starter for division foe Dallas while the Giants drafted poor team fits like Eli Apple and Davis Webb to build their roster. But that’s not the situation that’s happening now. Right now, in 2019, with a west coast style passing attack and a thirty eight year old quarterback, converting a powerful deep-threat receiver into precious draft capital is better long-term move considering the Giants waited three years too late to find a replacement at Quarterback.

The Giants did right by Odell by releasing him from Football Prison onto a roster with a competent QB and a real shot at the playoffs. Beckham repeatedly showed frustration with the outcome of the 2018 season after going from 11-5 in ’16 to 3-13 in ’17 with largely the same roster. The Giants were no longer using him for what made him famous-setting him up to burn defenders deep downfield.

The Browns on the other hand desperately needed a “true number one” receiver, or rather just a receiver who will reliably catch the football. Plus, Baker has a deep ball for years that will outlast Odell’s ability to catch deep balls.

No one likes to see the best player on their team get traded away. Raiders fans raged through the night as Khalil Mack was shipped off for two first round picks. Watching your team win five games a year with a couple of superstars on each side of the ball may be appealing to some, but general managers want to give their teams a chance to consistently compete every season, which the Giants did not have at the start of 2018, and are closer to now.

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